So, three months later and I am still looking for a pothole, haven’t paid for parking and seriously waiting for some type of red flag or for the proverbial “hammer to fall”. Nada. Nothing …. (crickets) ………..
Let me address the elephant in the room: Yes, everybody, Las Vegas is hot ….. in the summer. Yes, there were days with heat AND humidity (as there were in the rest of the left half of the US, remember that week?). But honestly, my “friends” who took great delight in texting me screen shots of the 7-day forecast for Las Vegas showing high temperatures approaching 110° went mysteriously quiet when temperatures in the “valley” of Los Angeles were hotter than Summerlin at summer’s end. Also, every time someone took great pleasure in busting my chops about the heat, what “I heard” (and what I told them) was: “Ohhhhhhhh, you’re right. IT’S WONDERFUL NOT HAVING TO PAY STATE INCOME TAX ANYMORE”!!! By the way, Summerlin is about 1,000 ft higher than the strip, so all those advertised temperatures are about 4° to 8° hotter than here. In so many ways, Summerlin is cooler. So, enough about the weather. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Do you remember the old joke about the fellow who goes to the doctor and says “Doctor, it hurts when I do this”. The Doctor replies. “So, don’t do that”? This is how we feel now that we have become comfortable in our surrounds here. For the most part, everything we need, want or desire is within a 10 minute drive. Super fancy dinners are 18 minutes away (that would be the Strip), the airport is 22 minutes away, Mt. Charleston and Lee Canyon (8,500 ft altitude, 30 degrees cooler than the strip, great hiking, mountain biking and skiing in the winter) are 30 – 45 minutes away. Traffic?? Huh?? Summerlinians (I just made that up) don’t know what real traffic is!
Friendly. Friendly. Friendly. The overwhelming majority of people here seem to be nice. Unprovoked, people will say hello or good morning around town. At Office Depot, one of the employees offered to carry my purchases to my car. “Do I look that old”? “No sir, just want to help”. (Maybe a dab of “Just For Men” may be in order). Here’s what’s been mind blowing (to me, at least): for a city with a reputation of being glitzy, loud, cheesy, sparkly, bold and “let it all hang out” (what happens in Vegas, stays ……), Summerlin couldn’t be more opposite. A lot of polo shirts and khakis shorts. Like any city, there are some wild and eyebrow raising outfits, but who am I to judge?
My son is thrilled with his new elementary school. He says all the kids are nice. The food is good and the Tech Lab is “awesome” with 20 “3-D” printers.
The dog loves her big yard.
Now, for the real scrutiny: My wife loves Summerlin. Twelve months ago, she didn’t know what hemisphere it was in. She loves how clean it is, she loves how safe it is, she loves the warm, breezy nights. Most of all, she loves that our son loves it. One of the most common questions/statements made around our house daily is “Why didn’t we do this sooner”???
Let’s jump back to economics and money for a minute. Real estate continues to go crazy here, as it does in many parts of the country. Interest rates moving downward, again, have aided in keeping the home purchase market en fuego. According to my real estate agent, houses priced “near appropriate levels” are gone within a few days with competing offers. I won’t even detail how the comps in my neighborhood have escalated over the summer. You wouldn’t believe me. The rental market is non-existent due to the fact that no homes and very few apartments are available. This is all easy to understand: all you have to do is drive around the community and you will see nearly as many California license plates as Nevada plates.
Now, the bigger question is how do I get on board by rooting for the hometown ‘Las Vegas’ Raiders? As a Pittsburgh area native, this might be that red flag.